Commercial Real Estate Goes From South Beach to the South Lawn


You knew that the commercial real estate collapse, like Karen Carpenter's love, has only just begun, right? If not, read this New York Times primer. You will especially enjoy how it begins:

As the commercial real estate market heated up earlier in the decade and lenders competed feverishly to issue ever-riskier mortgages, hundreds of bankers, investors, lawyers, brokers, appraisers, accountants and analysts flocked to an investors' conference in Florida each January to celebrate their good fortune with lavish beach parties featuring bikini-clad models and popular entertainers.

But in what a Prudential Real Estate Investors report described as "a move of near-perfect symbolism," the conference sponsor, the Commercial Mortgage Securities Association, recently announced that next year's event would be relocated from South Beach to Washington, where the industry has been lobbying strenuously for federal assistance.

Yet another sign that political connectivity is an indicator of slippage, not ascendancy.